ECOWAS announces new peace mission to Burkina Faso

Peace mission delegates from West African regional bloc ECOWAS head to Burkina Faso for new peace deal between coup leader, rival army

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Burkina Faso army troops stand guard outside Guillaume Ouedraogo military camp in Ouagadougou on September 22, 2015

Updated Sep 23, 2015

The West African leaders under the regional bloc ECOWAS sought to end the dispute between coup leader General Gilbert Diendere and the rival military in Burkina Faso  on Tuesday, releasing a new peace mission to the chaotic nation and called for total calmness.

The members of the regional bloc met during a closed-door meeting in Nigeria's capital Abuja, to talk about a 12-point draft that was presented last weekend by the bloc’s President Macky Sall of Senegal.

“They have decided to dispatch tomorrow [Wednesday] a delegation of heads of state to go to Ouagadougou to re-establish Michel Kafando in his function as president of the transition of Burkina Faso," said ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo.

The trip aimed to "initiate a political dialogue among all stakeholders with a view to finding concessional solutions" to the peace draft proposed by Sall and the Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi.

Ouedraogo, a former Burkinabe prime minister, before becoming ECOWAS commission president, said that the heads of state "called on the presidential guards to disarm and demanded the other unit of the army not to use force to avoid loss of human lives."

"They have also called on all the stakeholders to exercise patience and refrain from anything that can derail the national consensus," he added.

The peace mission delegates will come from Nigeria, Niger, Togo, Ghana, Benin and Senegal, Ouedraogo said, reading a final declaration from the meeting.

Military officials and humanitarian observers from member states would be sent to Burkina Faso "to monitor respect for human rights."

The member states leaders also requested the African Union and international community to lift sanctions imposed on Burkina Faso "in view of the fact they have proposed the reinstallment of the transitional government."

Violence has erupted in Burkina Faso between the army and members of the presidential guard loyal to former President Blaise Compaore, who was toppled in a popular riot in October last year.

The Guards last week arrested and detained Kafando, who was appointed as interim president in the run-up for the general elections, scheduled for October 11, with Prime Minister Isaac Zida, both were later freed. 

TRTWorld and agencies